NLP Examples

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This past week has seen some interesting developments.

I learned that some local long time NLP experts started a blog. The said that they intend to eventually release many of the NLP models they created over the years for the semiconductor industry. In the meantime, the first few posts have been worth reading.

James Brausch changed domains again. Fortunately if you’re just getting started or would like a refresher on the basics, this looks to be the place. I noticed he’s testing the picture in the top right corner so check that out too. So far, I’ve seen a racially ambiguous bearded dude in a suit and no picture tests.

Richard Lee is going to start over from scratch and build up his internet business almost entirely at no cost. If you don’t know him, he’s consistently been ranked in the top few results for the highly competitive search term, "internet business." It ought to be instructional to follow his progress.

Trying NLP out in a Speech

Over the weekend I got to announce the Toastmasters District Fall Conference since I’m chairing it.

I only had a few hours until I was to make the announcement (due to procrastination on my part) and most of that time was already accounted for in other events.

I decided to throw some patterns in there anyway just to see what would happen.

Here’s what I scratched together on 3 pocket sized spiral note pad pages:

Do you… remember a time when learning was fun.

You’re excited and fascinated with both the journey and the destination.

Imagine a day devoted to your improvement. Do you want to…

  • Improve your voice
  • Relax your body
  • Iron out internal resistance
  • Resolve external conflict
  • Align yourself with what you really want out of life

The theme of the fall conference is, "Your Best Self Ever."

We’re taking a value based approach where you could easily pay the full price just to hear any of the speakers we have lined up. It will be a one day conference.

As you’re getting your [registration] fliers, you’re probably already thinking about other members who’d like to come as well.

Then I talked about how to sign up and who to give the money to.

Did it work? Who knows. We had more than the usual number of early registrations but that could have as easily been due to the fact that the price was lower than usual and the value was higher than usual. It was fun trying it out.

Is NLP Manipulative?

Since I didn’t take the practitioner courses, I’ve been learning NLP on my own.

I realized that I could benefit from being able to practice NLP in persuading people in person as well so I joined a couple of local Meetup groups. One is a hypnosis group and the other is an NLP group. I’ve also considered starting a Toastmasters club based on learning NLP in any and all contexts.

In talking to people about NLP, I’m faced with the difficult issue of trying to explain NLP. Usually I say it has to do with hypnosis and behavior modification. Now that I’m studying modeling, I might tack on modeling excellence. If someone said "modeling excellence" to me, I doubt I’d know what they were talking about so maybe not.

Once I’ve said that much though, I often get looks like I’ve just told them I’m dabbling in black magic or the occult. Sometimes I get asked (or accused) whether it’s manipulative. And I haven’t even mentioned the applications of speed seduction at that point.

Here’s how I see it: NLP is a tool like anything else. It can be used for good OR for evil if you like to make that distinction. It’s an especially helpful tool if you’re wanting to persuade another person. Any moral judgment about that persuasion is up to the intent of the persuader or observer, not the techniques employed… as long as you’re not violating another person’s will. Obviously involuntary trauma based brainwashing is something totally different.

As a persuader, are you responsible for respecting other people’s boundaries? It depends on your worldview I suppose. Does your doctor? Does the car salesman? Once you realize how maliable subjective reality is, you may wonder how useful boundaries are at all. That’s a topic for another time though.

Another consideration is in using any tool. Do you want to be more versatile and skilled or less? Do you want the tools of persuasion used on you or do you want to be the one using them? You have a responsibility to safeguard your own interests as well.

So is NLP manipulative? Absolutely. It’s as manipulative, dirty and evil as money, cars or hammers. 🙂

Getting Started in Copywriting and NLP

I’ve been asked a couple of times how to get started in copywriting and NLP.

If you Google “getting started copywriting” you’ll see over 200,000 results. Most of the advice I’ve seen and followed boils down to a few steps:

  1. Study the masters
  2. Copy out successful letters
  3. Build a swipe file
  4. Practice on low risk jobs
  5. Build your portfolio
  6. Specialize in a market
  7. Get bigger clients

What I want to point out is that your path depends greatly on your end goal. Do you want to be a corporate copywriter? Freelance? Or how about run your own business?

Personally, I started out following the above steps before I finally accepted the fact that many of the most successful copywriters write for themselves. Even the top copywriters that still write for clients also have their own products, services, coaching programs, seminars, etc. That’s where the real money and real freedom are.

If you’ve managed to stick to the steps long enough to become a half decent copywriter, branching out into your own business won’t be a terrible shock. Selling is the hardest part of any business and you already have a leg up. Plus, if you go after information products online, you’ve chopped your learning curve down again. And you won’t have to go looking for step 4. You can do your own stuff.

If you follow the career path of many copywriters, the steps that follow after the six above are:

  1. Charge your clients more
  2. Get more clients
  3. Get burned out
  4. Have an existential crisis
  5. Get fed up and start your own business

Why not start at step 4 in the first list and jump to step 5 in the second? Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.

I wanted to elaborate on step 1 in the first list for copywriting and NLP. That was the original question… how to get started.

I read the original guys like Hopkins, Caples and Ogilvy. I don’t recommend anyone start with that unless you want to be a corporate copywriter. For direct response copywriters and entrepreneurs, I recommend you study some of the guys who are doing it well online already. Specifically, I recommend (not affiliate links):

  • Michel Fortin – has a great online presence and community
  • Clayton Makepeace – master of melding copywriting and existing business (aka profit sharing and royalties)
  • Ben Settle – a great resource to go for learning about swiping
  • Michael Senoff – an amazing resource for free seminars, interviews and ads on a multitude of business topics. It’s a great place to find ideas.
  • Dan Kennedy – he has a number of good books on the basics. I’m looking at a copy of The Ultimate Sales Letter on my shelf. You can see the 2nd edition free on Google Books.
  • Google “internet business ” and visit the top results. If they’re private business guys with blogs, they obviously know what they’re doing. Richard Lee, Cybercashology and Terry Dean come to mind.
  • [EDIT 5/23/09]I used to recommend James Brausch for his straightforward business formula that went something like “Product + Traffic + Copywriting = $$$.” He’s since sold off his blog and business and the new owners ran it into the ground with poor products and service. Terry Dean has a highly recommended beginner’s guide.

For NLP, it really depends on what you want to do with it. There’s a ton of general info online. Here’s what I recommend:

  • If you want a solid general overview, get a book like Introducing NLP by O’Connor and Seymour.
  • If you want to learn how to do NLP, you have 2 main options: take a practitioner course or read the original books by Bandler and Grinder and find someone to practice with. The first method would probably be easier although I’ve taken the second.
  • [EDIT 10/20/08: Richard Bandler has a new book out, “Get The Life You Want” that has most of his NLP patterns. Each chapter is a background story and the pattern laid out step by step. I highly recommend it as a pattern reference.]
  • [EDIT 5/23/09: It now appears that NOTNLP may have streamlined many if not all the patterns of NLP. If you’re wanting to do NLP in person, I recommend you check it out.]
  • If you want to learn to do Therapeutic Metaphors, learn the vocabulary of NLP first and then get David Gordon’s book on it. Some of it will be lost on you if you don’t know the basics.
  • If you want to learn modeling,  get Gordon’s book on it. [UPDATE: Steve Bauer has a more comprehensive list on modeling approaches listed in a recent post . It includes Gordon’s book.]
  • If you run across something you’re not familiar with look it up in the Encyclopedia of NLP .
  • If you want to learn it for personal motivation, get Tony Robbin’s materials.
  • If you want to be entertained and awed by it, look for Derren Brown on YouTube. “The Heist ” and “Subliminal Advertising ” are especially eye opening.
  • If you want to learn it for a face to face sales context, get Kenrick Cleveland’s materials. I haven’t studied his materials beyond his blog but Harlan Kilstein highly recommends him.
  • If you want to learn if for a seduction context, get the Speed Seduction materials.
  • If you want to have it done on you without worrying about learning it, get some Paraliminals or visit a hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner. I created a similar product you can download free called Passionate Heart.

And finally, if you want to learn NLP for a copywriting context, get my course. The only thing even like it is Harlan’s $1000 DVDs. Even then, a couple people have commented that my course is easier to understand than his. It’s way less expensive too.

You can get the first lesson free here: .

Modeling Customers

At Harlan’s NLP Copywriting II seminar (I didn’t attend), he said he was going to teach people to model their audience.

He also said he’d modeled someone without their knowledge.

The notes of that modeling are here:

Recently, Steve Bauer posted on what’s required to model people . He said you can’t model people you’ve never met.

Given those things, is it possible to effectively model a whole group of people? It doesn’t sound plausible to me. What you can do is come up with some general trends. According to David Gordon (and thus Harlan) it’s about discovering beliefs, strategies, emotions and external behavior… then yes, you can find out some of that as a trend for your market.

If you want to see an outline for the things included in David Gordon’s system of modeling check out the Table of Contents of his book. I ordered it last week so I can tell you more about it after I’ve read it.

Any maybe Steve will weigh in with his opinion too. 🙂

New Guarantees

I switched the price to a one time $300 instead of the subscription service. If you read the previous post on how much went into the course you’ll probably agree it’s still a bargain.

The other thing that’s changed is that you now have a money back AND "includes everything" guarantees. The money back means you can receive the first 4 lessons and still get your money back if you want. The "includes everything" guarantee is that I’m guaranteeing that it includes every topic in NLP relevant to copywriting. If you get through the course and feel like I’ve left something out, I’ll research it and create a bonus lesson so that you’ll have gotten everything .

That ought to settle it. You can look for a full 30 days without having to commit to purchasing the course. And then if you had concern about the quality (because quality does vary considerably in the NLP community), now you know that you’ll finish the course having been exposed to everything in NLP relevant to copywriting. I would say you’ll have learned it all but I can’t guarantee you’ll do the exercises.

What are you waiting for then? If you want to learn to use NLP in copywriting, this is THE place to do it. Or you can try to figure it all out on your own. If you compare that $10K+ way to my $300 course… well, you get the idea. It’s no comparison.

The landing page is a work in progress since I have other things going on too. I’ll be multivariate testing it too once I’m happy with the way it looks. You don’t have to wait until then to go get it.

Every Word Matters

Several blogs were talking about words recently and I wanted to bring them to your attention.

First off is A-List copywriter David Garfinkel. He showed how newspaper headlines can have drastically different interpretations just by how you read the same words. He was at Harlan’s NLP Copywriting seminar last fall too and mentions an NLP application. Check it out here .

Then James Brausch wrote about a similar idea . His centered more about how emotionally laden words can alter the entire meaning of a message and thus your thoughts… even simple changes like terrorists vs freedom fighters. Here was the original post. Then he gave his readers some practice . He followed with some explanation on why some things don’t make sense and an indirect complement [Thanks, James].

Finally, I noticed Steve [didn’t see a last name] who has an NLP blog. He talked at length about nominalizations . Of course we NLP marketing folks use nominalizations a little differently than the mainstream NLP Practitioners. It really depends on the result you’re looking for and whether you’re looking for your reader’s energy to move or to dissipate.

All those things are covered in my "Be a Hypnotic Writer " course… including practice. In another week or so, I’m going to be raising the price and turning it into a one time payment instead of subscriptions. If you’d like to take advantage of the low price now, you better do it soon. Click on the free lesson in the sidebar.

Knowing and Doing

In planning for an upcoming Toastmasters conference, I’ve met a number of NLP trainers.

The idea was to get speakers who could deliver some real value to our members. I know NLP can do that.

After listening to 3 different NLP trainers, only one seemed suitable for our conference. It turns out he happened to be a Toastmaster too and I didn’t know it. The others could use Toastmasters as their speaking abilities left much to be desired.

That got a conversation going with a friend… why is it that many folks in the NLP or hypnosis community don’t lead enviable lives? Even without meeting everyone it’s obvious they weren’t all in the top of health.

For some reason there seems to be a disconnect between knowing and doing. Some of these guys (Richard Bandler included) know NLP backwards and forwards but you look at them and think they must not be practicing what they preach.

It was Mark Twain who said, "The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them." It also seems true that the man who doesn’t apply what he learns has no advantage over the man who can’t learn.

As with all things, you must apply what you learn. NLP is no exception.

Have you noticed NLP is everywhere?

Some people might be concerned that deliberately using NLP in their marketing might be too manipulative.

The simple fact of the matter is that NLP is an organized way of describing all communication that goes on between people.

Take presuppositions for example. Presuppositions are things that have to be true for your communication to make sense.

If you walk up to someone, stick out your hand and say "hi," that belies several presuppositions. You’re assuming they can hear, they can talk, they speak your language, and that they’re familiar enough with local customs to know you’re greeting them.

When we call something NLP marketing or copywriting, it’s because we’re deliberately layering on additional presuppositions. The mind can only keep track of about 7 chunks of information at a time so anything over that goes unfiltered to the subconscious.

Say you want to tell the world you have a really quiet car. You could just say that and hope people believe you. You could tell them that you can’t hear the engine even at speeds of 60 miles per hour. "Yeah right," they’ll say.

So instead you wrap it up in a presuppositions and it comes out this way:

"At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock."

Some of the presuppositions I notice are:

  • It has an electric clock
  • The electric clock makes noise
  • It’s louder than any other noise in the car
  • It’s a new model of car
  • It’s a Rolls-Royce so it’s luxury
  • It can go 60 miles an hour
  • It’s a very quiet car

After reading that headline, what’s your response? Do you argue with any of the presuppositions? Or do you want to take a test drive and compare noises with the electric clock?

Presuppositions are all around us. NLP makes a study of using them elegantly.

How many presuppositions did you notice in the title of this blog?

What other NLP patterns are we regularly using… perhaps without realizing?

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